This post is sponsored by OMRON Healthcare. All opinions are my own.
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I’m a constant advocate for men’s health, especially men’s cardiovascular health.
My passion comes from my personal experience with heart health issues. After suffering a stroke, I vowed to share my story and in hopes that it will encourage men to take better care of themselves.
For the past few years, I have partnered with OMRON Healthcare because their mission, “to eliminate cardiac events,” is aligned with mine.
My latest partnership with OMRON Healthcare was the 90-Day Blood Pressure Challenge.
During this period, I made lifestyle changes aimed at reducing my blood pressure and encouraged others to do the same.
In the past 2 years, high blood pressure has nearly tripled among men age 20 to 44. These numbers are unacceptable and we must change this trajectory.
Here are a few things that I’ve done to lower my blood pressure.
Measure Blood Pressure Regularly
Measuring my blood pressure has become a daily routine. This practice keeps me informed about my health and gives me the data I need to make adjustments.
I use the OMRON Complete and OMRON HeartGuide along with the corresponding OMRON Connect app that syncs up with all of OMRON’s connected devices.
This combination helps me to maintain my practice because I can keep up with my blood pressure when I’m on the go or relaxing at home.
I also like that I can share my health data with my doctor through the Connect App. On my last visit, I asked him for his opinion on the OMRON Complete and OMRON HeartGuide.
He told me that both were accurate and reliable. However, he prefers the OMRON Complete because he’s more accustomed to measuring blood pressure with a cuff device.
But don’t get caught up on which device to use. Find the blood pressure monitor that best fits you and your lifestyle. The important thing is to measure your blood pressure regularly.
Maintain a Regular Exercise Routine
For this 90-Day challenge, I had planned to join a gym again. That didn’t work out. Instead, I decided to create a makeshift gym in my garage.
I bought some weights, a jump rope, and resistance bands. One of my friends, who is a personal trainer, created a routine for me to follow on my own.
While I enjoy working out with weights, my favorite form of exercise has been rollerskating.
I enjoy it because I can skate through my neighborhood with my kids or I can go to a skating rink and learn a few new skills from more experienced skaters.
Health experts recommend exercising at least 20 minutes a day three times per week. You can do this by adding a little more activity into your daily routine.
Walk instead of drive. Play catch with your kids in the backyard. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ride your bike. Dance with your partner. Or go to the gym on a regular basis.
A little activity can benefit your health tremendously.
Choose Healthy Food Options
I love to cook. It’s one of the activities I use to relax and manage stress.
During this challenge, I have been actively teaching myself how to cook healthier meals with less salt, fat, and cholesterol.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve started a “Meatless Monday” practice.
Learning to cook vegetarian and vegan meals has been interesting. I’m from Texas and eating meat is deeply embedded in my DNA. But eliminating meat at least one day a week has not been as challenging as I thought it would be.
However, I haven’t eliminated meat completely. I still eat chicken and seafood.
One of my favorite meals is Poke, a Hawaiian dish traditionally made with fresh raw fish, vegetables, and rice.
While there are many ways to make Poke, here is a quick recipe for a salmon Poke bowl that I created.
Salmon Poke Bowl
- ½ lb of fresh Salmon sushi-grade if you can find it
- 1 cup of sushi rice regular long-grain white rice or brown rice will also work
- 2 cups of water
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Jalapeno pepper
- 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of Sriracha
- 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- Sesame seeds
Rinse rice and place aside
Add 2 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt to a pot, place on the stove at high heat.
When water starts to boil, add rice, cover with a lid and turn heat to low.
Cook rice for 20 minutes and remove from heat.
Remove skin from salmon, cut into bite-sized chunks, and place in a bowl
Add ½ tablespoon of Sriracha, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to marinate the fish.
In a separate bowl, mix sriracha and mayonnaise
Peel cucumber and dice into small pieces
Peel carrot and grate
Slice jalapeno pepper
Cut cherry tomatoes in half
Add a scoop of rice to a bowl to set the foundation.
Add salmon, cucumber, jalapeno, carrots, tomatoes, and spicy mayo
Sprinkle sesame seeds on top
This recipe is flavorful and easy to make. Feel free to switch up the ingredients to suit your taste.
Relax and Enjoy Life
I’ll admit that I’ve allowed stress to compromise my overall health.
When I feel myself starting to get stressed out, I take deep breaths and disengage from the situation until I can recollect myself.
Meditation and prayer also help me calm my mind.
I have also been taking mini-vacations to get away from work-related stress.
This practice has benefitted me the most because visiting new places gives me a different perspective on life and allows me opportunities to experience different things.
The past two years have been quite stressful for everyone. If you need to visit a therapist to manage your stress, please do so.
Find ways to practice self-care. Enjoy your life while you can. Do what makes you happy. Show appreciation to the people you love.
Go to the Doctor
My final piece of advice is to visit your primary physician on a regular basis. Many ailments can be treated if they are discovered early. If something doesn’t feel right, please go to the doctor. Don’t wait.
Final Thoughts on the 90-Day Blood Pressure Challenge
I’m proud to say that this challenge has produced some tangible benefits.
My doctor reduced the dosage on one of the medications I was taking. This is a huge accomplishment. I’m looking forward to the day that eliminates them completely.
If you’re ready to make some changes to improve your cardiovascular health, I recommend taking the OMRON Going for Zero Pledge.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Heart attacks and strokes are impacting nearly every one of us.
These are preventable conditions and we can all take steps to reduce the likelihood of these events striking us or our loved ones.
Every one of us can play a valuable role in the Going for Zero goal by starting conversations and sharing important information about heart health.
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